Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to determine and often sort out many dishwasher issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might find you can resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a few simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the manual to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights but will not run, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

To test these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus check the components are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel and checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and ascertained they are working correctly the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not running, so this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power going to the motor.

To test this you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above and are still looking for the problem the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

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